Tag Archives: USA

It took one funeral

In the left corner

Iran is in all kinds of problems, there are a few issues all playing at the same time, yet the one that is satisfying me the most is the news on Al-Jazeera where we see ‘UN monitors say Houthis not behind Saudi Aramco attacks: Report‘ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/monitors-houthis-saudi-aramco-attacks-report-200109062732396.html) It is here that we see “The investigators, who monitor sanctions on Yemen, also said they do not believe that “those comparatively sophisticated weapons were developed and manufactured in Yemen.” They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible for the Saudi attack” in this it is interesting that it was merely about identifying that houthis were not responsible and the added ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ merely shows a larger failing for the UN. Of course they might use the same approach in falsely accusing the murderers of Jamal Khashoggi, but the UN cannot get what it wants, it is now a political engine trying to be the vice for the EU to get Nuclear accords. What took them a month to figure out was within my grasp within hours when I wrote ‘Government? Censorship?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/08/18/government-censorship/), the data was available and even as the UN might set ‘standards’ for their information (the UN-essay by Agnes Callamard debates that), the setting of a destroyed Yemen making advanced weaponry like the drones, all whilst they never had the people to make them before the war was not a part that they took for granted? The fact that years of war show a rather large lack of accuracy whilst the pinpoint accuraccy of the attack on Aramco was almost surgical. No, none of that mattered to the UN, even as they had months to look into the matter ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ rears its ugly head. Al Jazeera then gives us “Adel al-Jubeir, signalled in September that Riyadh was waiting for results of UN investigations before announcing how his country would respond. UN experts monitoring UN sanctions on Iran and Yemen travelled to Saudi Arabia days after the September attack. Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, told the Security Council in a separate report on December 10  that the UN was “unable to independently corroborate” that missiles and drones used in the attacks “are of Iranian origin”“, the UN did its job and prevented a war at the expense of credibility and trustworthiness. I had by that date in December established via several sources that only Iran could have done what was done and I even looked at other Saudi Allies as optional aggressors, only NATO and Iran remained as optional aggressors, I wonder if we get a NATO brief next week with an apology? The matter is actually larger than merely hardware, Houthi forces also do not have the ability (read: people) to properly control drones, I would argue that my ability (I’ve never managed a drone) with mere Flight Simulator experience would make me a better drone operator than any Houthi. 

In the right corner

Now we get to the fun part (for me that is), the news of ‘Catastrophic failure of Ukraine jet in Iran suggests missile strike‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/09/catastrophic-failure-ukraine-jet-iran-suggests-missile) with added photo of a Tor-M1 part gives a rather nasty setting, it is the news that comes with “Fail-safe systems that would have allowed the aircraft to get back safely in the event of engine failure appeared to have been compromised in an instant. Others pointed to what looked like penetrating holes in the airframe, leading some to compare them to the damage suffered by the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine by a Buk surface-to-air missile five years ago“, yet I was not convinced, if I slam Iranians (which is always fun) I want to keep a rather high level of evidence in play. I am also unwilling (after three CIA bungles) to go with “the US had picked up the signature of an anti-aircraft missile battery locking on to the Ukrainian plane, and then the infrared heat signal of two missile launches followed by that of an explosion on the plane“. I even debate the intelligence implied by prime minister Justin Trudeau (most likely relying on US-CIA intelligence) that it was an Iranian surface-to-air missile. I am however taken with the independent part of “the aircraft landed safety with only one death, thanks to the significant “redundancy”, or fail-safe designs, built into modern planes to allow them to land safely after an engine failure“, you see, no matter what happened after that, the plane would be in a largely controlled crash drive and there would be communication, there would be updates by the pilot, no matter what his or her nationality was. In addition there is: “Here we had some kind of event that knocked the transponder off the plane. Some kind of event that disabled the electronics to that system. It takes a lot to disable the electronics on a sophisticated aircraft like the 737-800“, I get that and that is very acceptable and from that we get back to the quote ‘Experts say debris fragments and sudden loss of fail-safe systems point to missile‘ and “while some apparent evidence of fragment damage to the aircraft turned out to be debris from the ground, other images showed ragged holes in one of the engines and scorching to one side of the cockpit, and other parts of the aircraft“, this all point towards the use of a missile and I agree with the statement of implied convenience “the unverified picture of the seeker head of the Tor-M1 missile seemed to some to be too good to be true, lying on the ground and largely intact“, I would like to know the source of that image, it is not Iranian, that much is certain, and any person ‘on the ground’ there finding that part is just too much of a happy go lucky lottery winner for me to have faith in (yes, I tend to not trust anyone). The issue remains, Iran is screwing up, in massive ways, the overreaction towards a civilian passenger carrier implies that the people there cannot distinguish between optional targets and that implies a lack of push on the iranian side, if they go to war whilst their people cannot tell differences implies that they are open to much larger flaws when tactical issues cannot play out because they cannot tell the difference.

Even as we (to some degree) accept “US officials would not disclose the intelligence they claim to have that indicates an Iranian missile was to blame, they acknowledged the existence of satellites and other sensors in the region, as well as the likelihood of communications intercepts and other similar intelligence“, there is a play in motion, now that Iran has torn up the nuclear accords, we see new actions on the table, yet these actions seem hollow. Actions like ‘Germany urges Europe to respond to Iran’s nuclear violations‘ (source: Reuters), where we see the quote “stopped short of calling for renewed U.N. sanctions“, an almost cowardly level of response whilst the transgressions have been going on since October 2019, I spoke about it in ‘The tradesman and the deal‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/11/05/the-tradesman-and-the-deal/), yet the EU still cannot find any solution that works months later and is refraining from ‘calling for renewed U.N. sanctions‘, it’s like watching a large neon sign ‘I saw a big pussy and it called itself EU‘, no wonder nothing gets resolved.

Yet no matter how it turns, Iran is getting more and more issues on its plate and there is a growing amount of international intelligence and evidence to really turn up the heat on Iran, the problem is that there are also an increased amount of players who want ‘their’ project to continue and that is the larger problem for now, when we look at the timeline and resolve the Aramco attacks at Abqaiq and Khurais first, we will see a much larger level of pressure against Iran, nuclear accords be damned, anyone thinking that Iran would abide by them is completely looney tunes, the news that Iran gave last year of transgressing its 300Kg limit by one thousand percent was (as I personally see it) a timed one, there was just not enough space to hide their transgression and the materials and hardware required for it and that part is just ignored by too many (mostly the 27 players in the EU), now one funeral later it all comes to blow, but not because of the funeral, the matter that people forget is that when you have an orchestra and you replace the conductor, we see that the orchestra is going through changes, it always does and as we see it now, the fact that Qassam Soleimani was juggling half a dozen issues at the same time, it is expected that his replacement will drop a few items as he does not know these issues 100%, as well as the fact that the people in that army are all vying for a better position, that is the benefit we now have and that is why we have to push. When Iran is exposed to the largest degree they will falter again and again until they have no credibility anywhere, that is the setting we need to go for, not because of people on a flight, not because of attacks of refineries or transgressions on accords, those are in the past, we need to do it because of the things that are still to reach the surface and there are issues that will still reach the surface, that is what will show Iran as the weak middle eastern bully it has been for the longest time, there is the victory of what is yet to come and that will set change, the problem is will the opponents of Iran be strong enough? Saudi Arabia and Israel are, the rest is open to interpretation, it is linked to the ego of the speakers and the win they still hope for, the EU is showing that all too clearly.

I personally wonder just how far certain players are willing to go to get their ego’s fixed, I feel certain we will see a lot more before the month is over.

 

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Travel by Ransomware

On Tuesday an interesting article was given by the guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/07/travelex-being-held-ransom-hackers-said-demanding-3m#maincontent), the title ‘Travelex ‘being held to ransom’ by hackers said to be demanding $3m‘ almost said it all and then I noticed something. First we get “Criminals are thought to be demanding about $3m (£2.3m) – to give the firm access to its computer systems after they attacked using the Sodinokibi ransomware on 31 December“, the price is not set without quarter, this we get from “They are reportedly threatening to release 5GB of customers’ personal data – including social security numbers, dates of birth and payment card information – into the public domain unless the company pays up” as well as “banks who use Travelex’s foreign exchange services to stop taking online orders for currency, affecting Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and First Direct.” You see Travelex, based in London, has a presence in more than 70 countries with more than 1,200 branches and 1,000 ATMs worldwide. It processes more than 5,000 currency transactions every hour yet, even as we see that it is on the London Stock Exchange, however the group is based in the United Arab Emirates. As for the actions we see “On Thursday 2 January, the Met’s cyber crime team were contacted with regards to a reported ransomware attack involving a foreign currency exchange. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing” here is the snag, what are the chances that US actions are impeded as it impacts 70 countries? Is there a reason why the FBI is not equally involved? You see, Sodinokibi is a spin off from Gandcrab and as we see (at https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fbi-releases-master-decryption-keys-for-gandcrab-ransomware/) the FBI got those keys. Now the keys will not be compatible, but if they get one solution, they might get another solution. The fact that corporations are hit and we see “the developers behind the wildly successful GandCrab Ransomware announced that they were closing shop after allegedly amassing $2 billion in ransom payments and personally earning $150 million“, we would want to think that the FBI is on top of this and get some pay-back (I had to use that pun).

We also learn from Acronis “Sodinokibi ransomware exploits an Oracle WebLogic vulnerability (CVE-2019-2725) to gain access to the victim’s machine“, and when we go to the Oracle page we see that there had been a solution from last May onwards. there is also the part “Product releases that are not under Premier Support or Extended Support are not tested for the presence of vulnerabilities addressed by this Security Alert. However, it is likely that earlier versions of affected releases are also affected by these vulnerabilities. As a result, Oracle recommends that customers upgrade to supported versions” the question becomes did Travelex forget to do a few things? the article does not pan out on that.

Yet in all this IT News (at https://www.itnews.com.au/news/ransomware-shuts-down-travelex-systems-536191) gives us ‘Unpatched systems could be attack vector, say researchers‘, and they also give us “No evidence has surfaced so far that structured personal customer data has been encrypted, or exfiltrated. This is in contrast with a report in Computer Weekly that alleged the criminals deploying the Revil/Sodinokibi ransomware had attacked servers storing sensitive, confidential information that included customer names and their bank account and transaction details” and it does not stop there. They also give us “Troy Mursch, chief research officer at security vendor Bad Packets said it notified the forex multinational in September of a serious vulnerability in its Pulse Virtual Private Networking servers. The vulnerability went unpatched until November” which sets a much larger question mark on the entire issue as the news give us that the attack came almost a month after that. They curtiously also give us “Prior to that, security researcher Kevin Beaumont noted that Travelex was operating cloud instances of Windows Server on Amazon Web Services that had Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) enabled and exposed to the internet, but with Network Level Access (NLA) control disabled. An RDP flaw, known as BlueKeep, allows for full remote compromise of Windows without user interaction” and these issues are not asked about? At least the Guardian article does not stop on them. 

The most hilarious response is seen at the very end of the IT News article with “Despite the attack closing down online systems, Travelex said it does not currently anticipate any material financial impact for its parent Finablr” Travelex might have numerous issues to consider, but the customer does not make the high point of that, or as I would mildly put it, who cares about Finablr? Well I reckon that the London Stock Exchange cares as the value of Finablr made a crashing 17% loss, that is almost one in five pounds that is lost too those bright young lads (ladies also). They advertise (on their website) ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary technology‘ instead of ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary hackable technology‘. It is a small difference, but a distinct one, especially as Oracle had placed a solution for months and the second message by Kevion Beaumont does not help any I reckon. In support a source gave the BBC that they feel let down, complaining that their travel money is “in limbo”, which is interesting, as the Guardian article gives us “Travelex first revealed the New Year’s Eve attack on 2 January, when it sought to assure that no customer data had yet been compromised” and as the article came 5 days after, the absence of victim mentioning is an interesting one, it seems that Travelex is not handling this situation well on a few levels, optionally also in arrear of making mantion towards the customers, all in opposition to the text on Travelex.com, which gives (among more data) “Tony D’Souza, Chief Executive of Travelex, said “Our focus is on communicating directly with our partners and customers to protect them and their information from any further compromise. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy and security of our partner and customer’s data as well as provide an excellent service to our customers and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. Travelex continues to offer services to its customers on a manual basis and is continuing to provide alternative customer solutions in the interim. We are working tirelessly to bring our systems back online.”” 

As such we get Travelex giving us one part and the BBC giving quite the opposite, and at this point my question becomes, exactly how much money is ‘in limbo‘?

That and a few more parts all rise to the surface when I look into this matter, the entire time gap on the side of Travelex being the most prevalent one. The one part that Acronis made me wonder about was the exemption list, the fact that It will try not to infect computers from countries based on the locale setting of the computer, which gives us “Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanian, Tajikistan, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan“, the reason is unknown to me, perhaps they fear those countries and their ‘justice system’?

By the way, the entire Finablr website mention was essential, they are so for the ‘future’ yet security is seemingly not among it. That part is seen when we consider “In April 2019, the Cybereason Nocturnus team analyzed a new type of evasive ransomware dubbed Sodinokibi“, as such it took the Oracle team months to get a solution made (which makes perfect sense) yet the lack of implementation by Travelex is less normal. From all information it seems to me that Travelex should have made larger steps to be secure no later than Halloween, so the issue is a little larger than we consider, and the fact that Sodinokibi is a much larger field that goes back a few billion dollars. This is a contemplated speculation when we look at CSO Online where we get “While Sodinokibi is not necessarily a direct continuation of GandCrab, researchers have found code and other similarities between the two, indicating a likely connection” implying that for at least one person $150 million was not enough. 

As such, the entire Travelex issue will be around much longer than the ransomware will be, there will need to be a larger amount of questions to its mother organisation Finablr as well. From my speculative side it seems that some players are lacking certain IT skills, or/and a larger shortage of it, that is the initial feeling I got when I saw the information that Troy Mursch and Kevin Beaumont handed over to the press, and so far the information as seen supports a larger failing in Travelex and optionally Finablr as well. There is support for my way of thinking, no matter who is on the board of directors, none of them are IT experts and that is fine, yet by not having a visionary IT expert leading the charge we see a larger failing coming their way. It is not merely having an IT department and a security department, someone needs to spearhead and protect IT issues in the Board of Directors and there is no evidence that this is happening, actually the Travelex issue gives rise that it is not happening at all. More important, the issue with the website is that it is highly sales oriented, and when I had a look there (I reckon the Sodinokibi members as well), I wondered how secure are Unimoni, Xpress Money, Remit2India, Ditto and Swych? When one of these points get attacked, will the board of directors act appropriately? It is optionally a little ironic that they are hit whilst they advertised a paper on their site on November 20th (a month before the attack) ‘Why data protection is your new strategic priority‘, my initial thought? ‘Sarcasm, when it backfires it becomes irony!‘ Yes it seems like a cheap ride from my side, but we forget that Common Cyber Sense is a real thing and corporations need a much larger vested interest in being safe than ever before, GandCrab showed that part months before this event took place and I reckon that Financial corporations need to take a much larger vested interest in that matter, or so I am led to believe, I could (of course) be wrong.

What do you think?

 

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Inheritance for the weak

Things happened and things needed to be done, this has been a long standing issue and America took that stance. Yes, we agree that we do not want a war, but Iran made it almost unattainable and something had to be done. So when I see (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/06/nato-chief-holds-back-from-endorsing-us-killing-of-suleimani) the words “Jens Stoltenberg condemns Iran but stresses drone attack decision was not made by Nato” we see a truth, yet the words given are that of a weakling. It gets support from “His intervention came as the EU commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, also warned Iran that “it is imperative that it return to the nuclear deal”, remarks that could presage a European decision to abandon the deal if Iran does not recommit itself to its terms“, another weakling on the European front. They are all about ego and not about realism, for months Iran has ignored the deal, it has traversed transgression point after transgression point and the EU is about ‘Let’s talk a little more’, it is like we are watching the police agree with drug dealers who have brought in 8 containers filled with drugs that they should come in so that an arrangement can be made for container number 9. They are drug dealers, deal with it!

America did the one thing that had to be done and now we see media article after media article on why we should not do it, that same media that has decided not to report on Iranian actions in Yemen, we now see more on ‘Iranian backed Houthis’ and that is as much as we can get from the media. So as we get ‘US allies distance themselves from Trump decision to assassinate Suleimani‘, we see more. I get it, Israel is too close to Iran and they cannot get dragged into it, they are dealing with Hezbollah and that is good. We also see ‘Saudi minister urges restraint in Washington‘, which is slightly less good, but the reasoning is clear, they are close to Iran and in close striking distance, they need to take a cautious stance here, yet Iran had to be dealt with and the killing of Qassam Soleimani is the point of no return, it has been done and now we need to make sure that Tehran realises that the gig is up, we will act and we will come for them, so having weaklings like Stoltenberg and van der Leyen in the EU, who have no issue making strong language when it suits them and their ego’s is a bit of a waste.

So as I read “Mike Pompeo, has already expressed disappointment in the lukewarm reaction of Washington’s European allies” I can only agree with Mike Pompeo. I see the issue that Saudi deputy defence minister, Khalid bin Salman faces and he needs to do what is best for Saudi Arabia, yet most experts are in agreement that the attack on Aramco could only have come through the acts of Iran and via the acts of Iran. The Guardian article also mentioned “There is mounting concern that the more cautious stance by the US-led coalition would make it much less effective and allow Isis to regenerate“, this is the larger issue and Iran has been playing a seesaw card for the longest of times, they have played that card well and that is the pivoting point, now with Soleimani away they will make mistakes, and that is what we needed for the longest of times, there is also the concern that the media is now in another bind. The Washington Post gave us 4 days ago “Soleimani took control of the Quds Force, the external wing of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in the late 1990s and went on to expand its regional presence. He was widely known for his high-profile links to paramilitary groups from Syria to Yemen that are now in the spotlight“, yet the larger newspapers have been shunning reports on Iran action in Yemen for well over a year, so I think that there is a larger play to consider. The spotlights are now illuminating the Iranian acts in Yemen and that is good, there is a larger setting where the media was so on the ‘Nuclear Pact’ deal that they ignored a larger setting, even as Iran ignored certain limits several times over. 

Yet the act of killing also opens up a larger can of worms on the allied side, Luke Hartig (former senior director for counter-terrorism on the national security council) wrote about it he gives us “Trump’s counter-terrorism legacy in Iraq and Syria may be a series of dead bodies but nothing that addresses the core of the problem and no partners willing to help us root it out“, ever since the US has its spats in Iraq we have seen a shifting of CIA staff all over the place, too many were looking for one old man in a cave and they found him (in the end) in Abbottabad, Pakistan but not until a serious amount of time had passed, in the mean time a lot of CIA operatives are useless (known to too many players) and the options for counter intelligence was further impeded by the acts of Julian Assange and ‎Bradley Edward Manning the latter one thought that 3 years of active service was enough to put well over 700,000 classified pieces on Wikileaks. These actions had a lasting effect and will have an effect for close to a decade. Quality Intelligence from the Middle East is only coming from allies (or so it seems). The US has limited action available to them and even whilst we sneer at espionage, we need to realise that it is the importance of it that sets the stage, Sun Tsu was very clear about it in chapter 13 (the Art of War) ‘the importance of developing good information sources‘ is essential and that part is currently missing for the US in the Middle East.

Luke Hartig (at https://www.justsecurity.org/67927/trumps-fatal-mistake-killing-suleimani-vs-countering-isis/) voices it as ‘Trump’s Fatal Mistake: Killing Suleimani vs. Countering ISIS‘, he is not wrong, yet the issue is depending on point of view. I feel that QS was too effective in the Middle East, his meetings tend to voice that part and the fact that two high value targets were taken out with QS was icing on the cake. For the most we ignore the effectiveness of Qassam, yet the truth is that his effectiveness made the Iranian proxy war in Yemen work, I believe that removing him is an essential win for the US, not immediately, but as the Iranian army faces the challenges that they need to find someone as good as QS, they will see that they are merely failing at whatever they try. The Washington Post gives us 5 hours ago “I have more than 4 million followers on various social media networks, and I have received thousands of messages, voice mails and videos from Iranians in cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan, Tehran and even Ahvaz, who are happy about Soleimani’s death. Some complain of the pressure to attend services for him” the Iranian presentation goes on, yet without QS in the mix, it will go a lot less smooth and issues will be overlooked giving s a much larger view on what is happening, optionally the others will get a lot more out of Iran for their trouble and that too aids the effort against Iran. Soleimani was that effective in life. Hartig gives more and it is there that we see his point of view, with “Effective counterterrorism policy is about much more than conducting drone strikes and deploying commandos; it’s about setting the diplomatic and geopolitical conditions for counterterrorism to succeed” he is correct, with the killing of Qassam Soleimani diplomatic and geopolitical options are out of the window, yet in the long run I believe it was the better position to play, the Iranian chess player lost its queen and as such, its chess play will be limited until an equal can be found, or the opposition loses its queen as well. I also agree with Hartig view “President Trump and the true believers in his inner circle have no sense of the strategy it will take to defeat ISIS (or Iran-linked terrorist groups, for that matter). Counterterrorism requires careful, methodical work, undertaken with our closest allies, that builds up local partners, patiently targets key vulnerabilities in the terrorist network over time, and ultimately addresses the long-term drivers of violent extremism“, there is no real tactic to deal with ISIS, it was less clear in the Obama administration, yet they too should have added weights to dealing with ISIS, but the costs were spiralling out of control, and as we consider his words on Africa through “The gains made against al-Shabaab are a result of diplomatic efforts and military assistance designed to stiffen the spine of African Union partners shouldering most of the fight in Somalia. Terrorists in the Sahel have been contained because of rigorous collaboration and modest assistance to the French combined with patient work to bolster regional partners“, we see the larger play, yet in all this QS had the phone number of all those leaders at hand, any of them with a beef against America got a nice weapons deal, now we see another play, without QS these deals will stop and optional larger wins could be made, yet it is not a given. What is a given is the fact that Iran has been out of control for a much longer time and it is high time that some of the egotistical and self wealth concerned players that that under consideration. so when we see ‘Blowback: Iran abandons nuclear limits after US killing‘, we see the wrong message, Iran had already abandoned those limits for a long time, they are merely outspoken about it now and if those in EU charge cannot see them, they should not be in these positions of power. The game and the message changed, but also the lies we see from Iran, it was never ‘Iran drives another stake into the heart of the nuclear deal‘ (source: CNN), it was that there was never going to be a nuclear deal, they ended it when they started the proxy war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, they needed a large bat to threaten with and they are continuing building that bat, they are however no longer willing to hide their actions to some degree and that works for us (as well).

So even as the Washington Post is all about ‘Iran announces it is suspending its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal‘ (18 hours ago), let there be no mistake, they had done this in the beginning of 2019 they were merely pussyfooting in diplomatic steps, and now that the failure is out, others will blame this on the US, yet the direct information that I gave months ago was a direct sign that Iran had no intentions to ge back to the table unless they could get 200% out of a deal for them, and that was just not realistic. Qassam Soleimani was very adept in this and now we’ll see a different game, first out of anger, then denial, soon we will get them in a stage of bargaining and some fainted national depression, then the push buttons towards reconstruction and acceptance, yet they will move the table with those two buttons again and again, yet now it will be less expertly managed, which again works for everyone else. 

Iran played the game for too long and for the longest time, no one was willing to hold them to account for their actions. We never wanted to control Iran, we merely needed them to play the game like all the other nations, East and West, North and South, they merely thought they were better than everyone else and now that there is a realistic sense towards war they will have to push through and face several nations in combat, or they will actually sit at a table and negotiate some kind of solution. It is what most wanted all along, it merely never went that way, too much ego and that was always the problem on both sides of the isle.

 

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Twenty twenty is visual

Yes, we are in the new year, yet this year (according to Forbes at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/12/29/us-and-china-technology-conflict-heres-why-2020-is-so-critical/amp/) will be a lot more critical than anyone thinks. Yes it is about Huawei, however not in the same lame way that the US administration brings it. Here we see: “Huawei has 42% of the huge Chinese market and more than 25% of the Russian market to get it started. Then on December 28, China’s state media announced that its “Beidou” alternative to America’s GPS satellite navigation system will be completed“, now this is a different kettle of fish. It is not about government intel (in a way it is), it is about who gets the data and the lies that seemingly originated at the oval office are now no longer about ‘the chinese government connections’ it is more about how the US government is not getting the free data that they have had for so long, moreover as we take notice of “But Beidou—“Big Dipper” in Chinese—will not stop at China. It will focus on converting markets in South East Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, price- and investment-sensitive markets” we see a much larger concern for the yanks, they are at risk of gaining access to a little over 50% of all given data by the end of 2020, that is something to notice, and in my view they had it coming. They make one accusation after another and never show any data to support it. Even now (yesterday) as we see the number of links of TikTok and data, I was able to find well over a dozen US sites where the advertisement of the TikTok app continues, one is called seemingly hypocritical national security (I actually do not know the Tik Tok situation), the other is money and money trumps Trump.

I am baffled why the US would think that this free reaping would continue, I am actually amazed that Russia did not have its own version of software ready. We even see “Russian President Putin described the U.S. campaign against Chinese technology as “the first technological war of the coming digital era.” His point was that this is the start of something much greater and more significant“, he is right in more than one way. Do you think that I would offer my IP to the US when I know that I am getting lied to? I wonder how large the failing list is actually hitting Google and Facebook, the fact that people are intentionally getting misinformed should show up in their numbers as well. For those who have no real affiliation to Social media, China is becoming more and more interesting, the moment that it has a real Facebook equivalent, we will see a much larger jump. For Google the mess is not that big, YouTube is an engine that people cannot live without (pretty much the medical condition is ‘acute VideoitisfromYoutube failure‘) so as we cannot get treated on that, we will continue in the YouTube realm. I personally believe that if the news was a year ago that China was launching its own services the news would have been accepted differently, the entire ‘China is all about spying through Huawei‘ got us on the wrong foot, just like Iraq, just like two other events afterwards the US have been handling billions of free voices and the free voices are through with a lying party like America.

So whilst we take notice of “For China, it will increase its independence and influence. For the U.S., its grip on key standards will loosen and for some of its key players there are risks they could loose material market share“, that is the ballgame, the ‘loose material market share‘, until the beginning of the internet, the US has never had an equal in this fight and in the economic place they are now they are scared. Consider the interest on $23,000,000,000,000 all whilst they are facing a technology user setback of 10%-25% in the first year, and as Asia, Russia and Europe start folding away from the US solutions the interest is impacted and can no longer be paid, for example try the Apple solution for $1749 (down from $2365) and as things ‘suddenly’ become affordable for the people, think of how the population reacts to the coin grab of 2010-2019 when they were trying to make ends meet. This technology wave will follow an anger wave that the US is unable to stop, and beyond that, Huawei has a much larger base soon enough. In Saudi Arabia Huawei was able to set the stage of a strategic memorandum of understanding, healthcare is only the first step and as it shows the progress it will entice Egypt and India, at that point Huawei will achieve two paths that the US only hinted at and sneered (their version of enticement) for well over 10 years whilst never delivering. The people who decide things saw no eager listing to pursue, now that the numbers are getting called in 2020 and 2021 the game changes and there have been too many lies (oops, I meant ‘intentional misrepresentation’) coming from the US players.

And as the EU gives us: ‘European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen voiced skepticism Friday over involving Chinese tech giant Huawei in the rollout of Europe’s 5G networks amid concerns its equipment could be used for spying by Beijing‘, we see that optionally the career of Ursula von der Leyen will be cut short too. She might be the President of the European Commission for a month now, but I am certain that her history lessons included the time when we hung those who hid behind ‘befehl ist befehl‘ and even now, as we traverse that time, the US will not have any dimes to sit on, those spreading the US message without evidence could be demanded to be called on, even now as Germany (and India) are moving against the warnings of the US, warning that have never seen any real evidence since the beginning, will now have a coin marker, people like Ursula von der Leyen will see that as other European nations demand evidence, their place in the hierarchie will seem unholdable, held together by US promises that they will fall back on and fold on when the moment is nigh. That is the ball game for the US and the Europeans will not have alternatives, especially as Nokia is showing several cracks in their veneer, as their 5G outlook changes and as the backlash of bribery scandals, the US will find themself in a stage that is not holdable, and they are not alone, Ericsson is right there next to Nokia when it comes to scandals and the US was not ready for that. The impact will be larger than they expect and that part will bite too. When the EC members will look towards alternatives and there is only Huawei, they will shift gears and give the boot to whomever supported the US and stopped them to get their bonus, people are easy to anticipate in that regard.

If only there was direct evidence of the US claims. There was a reason why I used the Colin Powell and silver briefcase example in the past, there was no way around it, the game that was being played was short for whomever was counting the cards and too many were out in the open, the US had two plays left and they chose the wrong one. That becomes more and more clear when we look at the actions of Sony last October, that setting changed the anger levels of Third Point to some degree, and as I cannot tell who was right, the fact that Daniel Loeb lost out against the Sony view ”no concrete proposals to improve the business“, who is eagerly spending a billion to get on the market is a larger issue than you can imagine, the Japanese government has a larger stake in all this then even I can surmise. Japan will have to take on a few players and they are behind (really behind), yet they are all in it to win it and their ego’s will collide, the US will have to find new areas to push against and as we see that this is being fought, we also see the American dream is under pressure of failing and that is one concrete version why the american corporate views are not what they are surmised to be, it will be a stronger difference as the year progresses, but I reckon that half way, when that American super villain Taxman has to give documentation as to the values it holds dear (numbers on a spreadsheet) we will see additional cracks, there is only so much that people will live for and the US has no reserves, it lost those a little over three years ago as the debt kept rising. In this as we saw one month ago that “Dan Loeb sharply boosted its net long position in equities,’‘ we will see managed bad news over the next 6 months that will reduce that position (as I personally see and anticipate), that will be the first (of many) cracks in all this and China is not merely a crack in their armor, it is a flaming hole the size of the Grand Canyon. And still my IP is outlasting theirs as they have no idea what they should have been looking at, it is becoming more than a spreadsheet user versus a visionary, the US status is becoming a spreadsheet user to someone who does not comprehend a cross tabulation, and that is not a situation that the US can hold up. 

In this all these solutions give China an advantage, because as we see more and more dubious statements from people who caress the limelight, we also see that the chinks in their armour are lighting up and that is where Russia and China only have to ask: ‘what is that?‘ (pointing at the chinks) and those people will not have the setting to answer. 

It is a stage we have not seen before and will not see again any day soon, but in 2020 it will matter, it will drive the global population away from any American solution. They will only have themselves to blame soon enough, they vied for it but will do anything to make anyone else pay and the people are taking notice, they are no longer willing to take the idiocy and the current American administration made it happen, at least that part has no push towards previous administrations. When that happens, the loss of revenue will increase faster and faster and all others are ready to step in wherever they can, I am happy I have no stake in any of the American hedges, their national product is about to lose value and a lot, I merely wonder how long it will take, as we saw in several situations in 2008, the $1.1B bill to Moody’s was paid without hesitation, I wonder what and who will delay the news this time around and those who got out late, will they have any recourse? I reckon not, at some point we will see certain academics make a statement that the technology sector was too complex and too covariant to clearly see any pattern emerge, at that point whatever rating existed will be thrown out and as we see that, the people will run to any technology that has proven themselves and at present that is Huawei (and Huawei only), that is the part the US is unwilling to see, even as we see the Verge (only three weeks ago) give us both “T-Mobile has been saying it’s got a smarter, sounder 5G strategy than both Verizon and AT&T” and “They also won’t support 5G on other networks, so if you switch carriers, you’re hosed” implying that there is no real 5G standard in the US and they are all merely marketing 5G whilst not having any real 5G (my personal view) and the Verge supports that view I have (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/16/20997594/tmobile-5g-600mhz-low-band-speed-tests-oneplus-samsung) when we see “you’ll never get the speed thrill of downloading an entire movie from Netflix or Prime Video in seconds“, all whilst the 5G advertisement is about that part alone, we see the hose job in the making and in 2020 that will not be tolerated by the people, in the US there is no alternative, yet Europe, Africa and Asia have other options which enables Huawei and that is the short play that the US is not ready for and the EU people are about to get a dose of reality soon enough, when the MoU that Huawei has signed show actual progress, Europe will run towards whatever shelter they can whilst ignoring the pleas from the USA, it will be that simple, people like Ursula von der Leyen will run towards what pays them and what keeps them safe, warm and dry, they will soon see that ‘befehl ist befehl‘ fell short the second time around too and at that point they will enable whomever has the technology and America is about three years late.  

It is the biting reality that 2020 brings, whilst the vision of twenty twenty is negated at every turn whenever possible and it is the ‘whenever possible’ part that will fall short soon enough (sooner rather than later).

 

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Same competition with a typo

National Defence Magazine gave out an article a few hours ago where we see that the Middle East is expanding even further, the headline ‘UAE Looking to Expand Defense Industrial Base‘ is merely the introduction to a larger issue, an Emirati official gives that “The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Defence is making a push to beef up the nation’s defense industrial base“, in this Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al Sayyed Al Hashemi hands out a truth, he believes “It is not only important for the UAE, it is important for every single country that has … industry“, it is a truth, an undeniable one, even after we get the holistic fanfare in opposition by nations under the corporatocratic yoke (the EU) and the nations that already have one where they all claim that it is more bad than good, it is more diversifying that unifying, they all lie, plain and simple. A nation is only as good as its ability to have no opposition, or who is able to defend itself. Julius Caesar proved that point a little over two thousand years ago, we still see evidence of that every day when we are not averting our eyes, the State of Israel (with enemies of their state on at least two borders) have also shown that part, more important it showed the world what happens if those in denial get their way. We see evidence in two books that Julius wrote, the first is the conquest of Gaul, the second one was the Civil War, two kinds of wars yet his first rule of warfare applied both times. The Middle East is upgrading and with oil waning as a dependent force, the circle is set to defence, a first handheld against those in denial of what Iran is willing and able to do, even as there are larger tears in the statement “Al Hashemi said during a press conference that investments in defense technologies will help the UAE diversify its economy“, we need to acknowledge that these tears are surviving because of the truth in them, it might partially be seen in “UAE-based company Halcon received a $980 million contract award for a variety of ammunition“, yet we realise that one billion an economy does not make. Yet “As the UAE works to improve its industrial base, it will also need to ensure it sustains its current and future equipment adequately, he said, noting that contracts awarded during the show included a mix of spare parts and sustainment in addition to weapons sales” shows a much larger consultancy and service minded task is ahead of the UAE, it needs to be service minded and there is the facet that will drive home an additional 4-7 billion over the next 5 years alone, with optional entrenchment of various services down the road. The corporatocratic foundation of the EU is in denial, but they will soon see that the EU is about to lost 2-4 billion in revenue to Middle Eastern partners in the near future. I state here the word ‘partners’ as Saudi Arabia has been on a similar track for a few years now and they are both optionally in a stage to be in each other’s fairway soon enough. Even as we see that Saudi Arabia is more about manufacturing, we see the statement that Al Hashemi makes with “We have to keep that availability of services available to be able to maintain the same capability

If National Defence Magazine (at https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2019/11/21/uae-looking-to-expand-its-defense-industrial-base) is correct with “The last day of the air show wrapped up with about $4.9 billion worth of contract awards over the course of the week“, we see that the UAE is heading for a lucrative next few years, it might not be enough, but it is a first version out of the oil industry and there is more on consultancy and services soon enough. Here we see the versions that matter; it was given by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord: “meetings would be held with industrial partners to discuss challenges. Saudi Arabia is focused on jobs and localizing production and manufacturing, she said, whereas the UAE is putting a premium on technology transfers“, yet ‘technology transfer‘ is basically a loaded canon, it should and will include consultancy and services, services on goods and people, making for a much larger stage, in addition, with 5G it is a larger manifest, the larger settings of armed forces and communications whilst 5G is not contemplated in the past seeks a much larger tenure of mobile hardware than we sought possible. People forget that the military have been pushing mobile technologies in the past and this will be pushed more and more. Not mobile industries that we rely on, but military point to point technologies on a 5G speed stream, it is not completely understood, some might run to the Raytheon pages and rely on “Lewis predicted that 5G will be foundational for new military technologies such as “robots, artificial intelligence and a number of advanced sensing devices.” Fast, reliable and strong communications are crucial to executing high-stakes military operations. The Trump Administration recently ordered a national spectrum policy to keep the U.S. in the lead when it comes to advanced wireless communications“, yet larger issues remain with limiting access to mobile technology and point to point systems, which in the case of rural warfare makes all the difference and even as we decide not to talk about it, we see that others (basically not the EU and not the US) are behind, they are lagging in 5G communication to a much larger degree and the UAE has figured out (well it was a known strategy really) that being ahead in services and consultancy solutions in armed response would be the ticket to go, did you really think that armed response is limited to weapons?

Raytheon was on that horse in 2016 when it applied for licensing to test “U.S. defense contractor Raytheon Missile Systems wants a special temporary authorization (STA) from the FCC so that it can test a new broadband technology and see if it meets both the demands of a U.S. Department of Defense customer and the commercial marketplace“, some focussed on the delays and feedback we see “General John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, called the GPS Operational Control System project a “disaster” due to escalating costs and delays. Raytheon told Reuters that it was still fully committed to delivering the modernized GPS ground controls envisioned and required by the Air Force” yet the story behind this (at https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=69216&RequestTimeout=1000) is larger than you think. The size of the article is not what was used, not what is required, it is that their advantage has been smaller than anyone expected, basically there are indications (not evidence) that Huawei surpassed these applications or better stated, Chinese defence has a much better system more advanced out there and it did so no later than Q2 2017 (partial speculation), so not testing, but actively being used and the UAE is seeking a services based organisation allowing for access and servicing such equipment, or at least make a push in that direction. In that part some might recall the article by Liu Zhen, last January (at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2184493/why-5g-battleground-us-and-china-also-fight-military-supremacy), there we see (read: read about) Zhou Zhaoxiong, a senior engineer at China Mobile IoT Company giving us “Military equipment embedded with communication devices can also form the internet of things, he added. The communication can take place from device to device, without satellites or early-warning planes, saving those limited resources for other uses and significantly lowering the cost of a military operation, according to a 2017 report in China Defence News, a mouthpiece of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA)” it was not the stage of what was to come, but on what was achieved and it scared the US into all kinds of messes, we do know that communication in any war is essential and it seems that the Chinese have a larger advantage there.

This is the engine that the UAE will be trying to tap into, it is also the one direction that the US is really unwilling to give into, so there will be a much larger battle to come regarding what Americans will allow what others are allowed to do, and that is where they strike out in the Middle East, they are seeing opportunity in a defence setting where they optionally end up have the advantage, the EU cannot compete with the UAE because of their tight links to the US and their corporations and when we see the people that have links to the degree they have with the US, China is seeing a lager advantage to partner up with the UAE and the KSA, that is the larger fight we will see in the foreseeable future, and even as the US is showing a larger fight with Huawei, it is not the real fight and more people are starting to get on board with the larger stage, the US can no longer compete in more than one field and that is what is biting the US to a larger degree.

How does this matter?

Well that is simple, the UAE (and the KSA) have larger military needs towards manufacturing and servicing, as they ally to a larger degree there is a larger need serviced in military needs and that means two things, the escalation in the Middle East (regarding military hardware requirements) can be addressed on a near global base, giving both players a larger handheld on the global scene that is not oil based, beyond that it allows for a larger growth in the near future, with new optional partners over time we see a larger growth in the Middle East soon enough, it might ‘just’ be arms and weapons initially, but there is a larger foot for growth and it will push the Middle East (except Iran of course) to a much larger degree than expected. Yet there is also momentum to be considered, even as both the KSA and the UAE have strong ties to the US markets, there is a rift visible, the US internally created it and if it does not address this there is every indication that it will cost the US a lot more than it bargained for in the near future to come, I will let you consider those details, yet do not take too long, there are at least 4 markets where it applies to and in that regard I will leave you with one hint It was given out yesterday and the list is seen (at http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2019-11-21-Raytheon-honors-54-suppliers-for-excellent-performance), can you see which two mentions should optionally not be there?

In some ways American ego does not falter in our view, it seems to have short term needs and that is where we see the first failure and that is where they should have though a little further than their noses (but that is merely my interpretation on the situation).

So have a great weekend! The weekend ends in 59 hours (for me at least) #JustSaying

 

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Update to include monsters

I was thinking of some of the old games I used to play, especially one I never mastered. The game was released in 1985; I played the Atari ST edition. The game was called ‘Balance of Power‘ and it was basically the east versus the west and through the interface you could interfere (take control of) the balance of power between east and west. In the end I got overly comfortable to the expression “You have ignited a nuclear war. And no, there is no animated display of a mushroom cloud with parts of bodies flying through the air. We do not reward failure“, yes diplomacy was never my forte. There was an update 5-10 years later when the 1990 edition was launched, I never played that edition.

I believe that the world is ready for a true update of that game. When we add the atrocities by Turkey only a few days ago, when we add the Khashoggi debacle and the impact of social media and spin doctors at the heads of media outlets we see that the world has changed to a much larger degree and the impact of what actually could happen is perhaps worthy of a new game. We need to see and play with the impact of ISIS minded forces as political parties play with the impact on a global stage. The fact that the USA is no longer a real superpower and the fact that the treasury of Saudi Arabia, the consumer base of India as the technology footing of China are much larger influences than foreseen; we get to debate a much larger spectrum of what the balance of power looks like. I believe that when the people see the impact of these elements, we see that the world reshapes almost like some Sim City version with larger repercussions. When we consider the global powers of Google and Facebook we see that the game of world politics gets filtered by economic markers. The evolution of what was once regarded as the ‘Balance of Power‘ is optionally now the stage for a larger form of balance (or is that a forum of balance) staged in a collection of seesaws where one resets the balance of two others. the old balance of power staged on the bear and eagle are outdone, less valid, the entire proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran clearly shows that and the impact of the media as they filter the news is also a larger impact and we have never been able to truly look at the impact there is, hence the idea of a new Balance of power, optionally called: ‘the Power to balance powers‘, the optional new truth that Turkey is the fourth power to instigate multiple genocides (America as it degraded the population of Native American tribes to zero, as well as the Catholic powers who removed well over a dozen civilisations, and Russian combined actions in 1931 and 1932) is something we need to consider in a much larger scope.

It is this stage where we look at the news and we are confronted with ‘The Kurds’ commander in chief explains why his forces are finally ready to partner with Assad and Putin‘, I have no way of seeing how this plays out, but there will be larger repercussions on many stages. It is time that the youth takes a serious look at the large issues that their parents are dumping on their doorstep, we need to figure things out and it is time that this is done out in the open, no longer hidden behind a screen of media filters and silencing diplomatic teams as they are trying to remain ‘non-accountable’ towards actions chosen.

The problem is not merely that we ignore the actions; the larger stage is that all kinds of ‘compromises’ are being made for the long term and the next generation needs to learn what those repercussions are and I believe that the right video game could do this. The previous generation was apparently taught that evil should never be allowed to win, yet 25 years after WW2 we all became complacent and we thought that evil was gone, evil never is and we all have optionally become part of evil as we condone the actions of many, hide behind the shallow needs that social media offers and we remain unaware as the news is decided by the wealthy (read: corporations) as they became the shareholders, stake holders and advertisers; they get to tell the media and the news what is important, what is filtered out. That is the stage where the balance of power can educate a lot of people just how dangerous our status is at present, not dangerous as if a war comes, we are beyond that, I mean dangerous as we have set the stage for multiple generations of anger, hatred and feelings of revenge, and a growing lack of tolerance towards one another. It is almost like a 4 seat seesaw and each of these seats is the balancing point for another seesaw, it becomes a game of trying to stay balanced, it also means that there is a lack of movement available, which implies that some parties will be about claiming actions when none (or that specific one) was not available.

when we see the media, we are pushed to the question ‘What is the omitted Information that Remains Missing?‘, this is a spin on two levels, the first is ‘Which question should have been asked?’, which brings us to ‘Has a quote or testimonial been taken out of context?‘ this is harder to answer, but it is an influence, which gets influenced by: ‘Is someone approaching the issue from a different set of values?‘, as well as the stated answers ‘Are the claims supported by well-done research as well as based on reliable sources?‘ and that is the foundation for merely looking at the media how it filters information, the entire stage becomes a much harder game to program, yet should it not be done because of that?

And that is all before we get to the political and diplomatic stage on “If the answer is not helpful, can we change the question to make it so?” these two elements interacting in media causes all kinds of communication (read: presentation) issues whilst both sides remain intentionally ignorant to the equation. The next generation needs to be educated on what a mess this generation is creating. That part is seen (only in part) with: ‘12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: Russia‘ (source; NY times), with the quote “The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Syria in order to crush the last pockets of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad, according to an investigation by The New York Times“, which was set to events on May 5th 2019, many newspapers gave that information when it happened, the repeat from the NY Times gives us the quote “Russia’s position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has shielded it from scrutiny and made United Nations agencies reluctant to accuse the Russian Air Force of responsibility“, this is important as the United Nations Security council is now presented as an umbrella that offers a shield from actions it was supposed to stop, a stage we knew existed, but not to the degree we see now.

So when we see the NY Times quote: “Nabad al Hayat Surgical Hospital in southern Idlib Province served around 200,000 people before being destroyed in a Russian airstrike on May 5” which comes with assisted high resolution graphics of 40 mega pixels or better whilst we look at the exploding hospital, we wonder how lucky that photographer was, or perhaps someone knew in advance what would happen, we are left with too many questions and no real explanation that fits the morality and values within us.

It is becoming more and more important that we see the world as it is now being pushed by the monsters among us, we like to set the stage to merely Iran, Turkey, ISIS and Hezbollah, yet the real monsters are the ones claiming to fight the atrocities and in the end merely facilitate to it, it goes beyond the wear events, the technological feats we see in regards to 5G is also a global impact, and we can go on and on on all the events that are part of the stage, and it would soon become too complex. Perhaps that too would be the strength on any new version of ‘Balance of Power‘ the fact that too many issues are intertwined for several reasons. Yet when we add greed to the mix, the game becomes awfully transparent, add to that the actions by some making claims that they cannot prove; the created stage of carefully phrased denials, all out in the open and when we ask specifics we are left with half-baked answers that are not answers at all. This is a part that plays a role in all this, we seem to forget that governments have a duty to properly inform us, yet in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues. It is almost an applied variation from Mark M. Lowenthal ‘Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy‘, the application of stages towards the drive of any policy (governmental or not) is also baked into the media and is subject to what we are allowed to see. Consider that impact, as well as the impact of data on the whole, it might become a massively complex new game, yet when we are able to show the impact of these elements to the people, we would optionally get a much more informed person, one who ends up asking the right questions, the questions that politicians, CEO’s and CFO’s fear. When that part comes out in the open, we get a first stage to truly fix things.

Yet with my sense of humour, we should make a lot more space to include the stages that Darrell Huff introduced us to when we were given ‘How to Lie with Statistics‘, and this gets us to today, we know that the balance of power is not merely what we have, what we get and how we get there. There is an internal stage where political power is also set to the stage of people in jobs (as enabled consumers) that was proven ages ago. Yet how that stage is managed is an entirely different matter. the pushed stage where enablers, facilitators and consumers become the ‘have group’ the rest will be the ‘have not’ group.

As we got told today (source: the conversation), we see this stage in Australia, “Centrelink generally requires evidence of looking for 20 jobs per month in order to keep receiving Newstart“, that sounds fine in theory, yet in the applied practice we see that the job search government links to a job search collector, whilst the seeding player of this group is another matter. So when we look at IT jobs in Sydney we see: ‘594 jobs with 715 positions‘, with the largest bulk (over 90%) being Adzuna, yet the reviews from some are stating that this source is riddled with ‘scam’ mentions, as well as overly positive claimed stages. There is a larger issue afoot and there is not enough scrutiny, even as the people can go to really valid places like Indeed, LinkedIn and Jora; the choice we see in the governmental site calls for question of scrutiny.

Why on earth did I mention that?

We see that the balance of power is set to what is done and what can be achieved, yet when we are confronted with a stage that is not available or realistic, how will we interact? When we are set in a stage of age discrimination on a stage where our issues are not heard, or set in a long winded stage of registration where the IT parts fails too often, the government gets to optionally report that no complaints were received. In Australia the mess with Centrelink data matching, the failing Biometrics Identification Services, the UK failures on IT in the NHS and the list goes on where the costs keeps on adding billion after billion, that directly impacts a government, its budget and its waning options, very much issues on a larger scale and the claim we see with “aggressive ICT outsourcing has led to agencies being left at the mercy of external vendors“, whilst there is no proof that growing the internal options would not have resolved the issue. It is a stage where corporations have a hold over the government, pushing cheaper solutions (another reference to age discrimination get pushed to the backbench and no solutions come forward. this is a direct application of the earlier mentioned ‘in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues‘, which in the application of the Balance of Power means that corporations have a much larger option to disable or limit government actions. That is what the impact of corporatocracy is. In the original games there was no real corporatocracy, nowadays there is. The US is perhaps the strongest example and the impact we see in the FDA and DEA (see yesterday’s article) as well as the ATF limited through the powers of the NRA and by corporations addressing attachments to governmental needs we see a larger impact of where governments show limitations on the world stage.

Yes, the entire game has become a lot more complex which in the end leads us to the question, is any application of the ‘Balance of Power‘ still actual and realistic? That is partially seen in 2013 when the NY Times gave us: “Eight major companies, led by Google and Microsoft, are calling for tighter controls on surveillance of their customers’ data by governments“, yet the opposite was never put in place, the existence of Cambridge Analytics, the application of selling consumer data as well as the abuse of data collection through apps has never been stopped. We get all kinds of options to market through mined data giving a larger rise to corporatocracy, whilst the media remains silent on the dangers of corporatocracy. So when we see ‘This is what happens when corporations run the government‘ (Washington Post, March 2019) and ‘Australia’s march towards corporatocracy‘ (the conversation Feb 2017) we see merely two mentions on Google search page one, whilst he situation set the stage that there should have been dozen of clear mentions and investigations, yet the media seemingly have almost zero mentions, how is that? I think that there is a clear stage where corporations do not want to see any mention if possible and as I mentioned earlier ‘in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues‘, and here we see how ‘through corporations to the media‘ is directly inhibiting exposure. The Balance of Power would be an awesome game if we can incorporate it into a new game, especially when we see how the media and corporations make sure that a lot of the information will not be shown, active censorship in nations that proclaim freedom of speech and freedom of expression, when you own the printing house you get to tell the people what they care about, we apparently forgot about that small part again and again.

It is the beginning of a rigged game where the next generation gets to pay for the screw ups of the current generation, feel free to ignore or deny that, yet when we consider the US with a debt of $21 trillion, the EU has around € 10.1 trillion and on a global scale we see that the Global debt had reached an all-time high of $184 trillion in January 2019, we see that the Balance of Power is a term that has become debatable, a stage where banks are basically in charge, limiting or directing the options that any government is allowed to consider. The original game never anticipated that reality, but there you have it. John Perkins tried to inform the audience with ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004)’, yet even after Berrett-Koehler published it, gaining an instant bestseller, whilst the major U.S. media refused to discuss Confessions or the fact that, because of it, terms such as “EHM” and “corporatocracy” were now appearing on college syllabi. A stage where the media claiming to advocate freedom of speech, whilst we see that its absence is allegedly corporation controlled, a direct (still alleged) piece of evidence showing that whatever balance of Power we envision, when it is set to nations and governments we get less than 50% of the players in view, making a larger injustice to the people.

In this, I wonder who exactly the real monsters are; are they identified by the acts of nations like Turkey, Iran and North Korea, are they the acts by organisations like ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas, or are the corporations and the media they control a lot less innocent in all this. Will the next generation be ready for what we, the current generation have facilitated for?

I honestly do not know.

 

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Game of labels

Yes, we all have games on the mind, mind games, video games, war games, and not to forget political games and economic games. These are not games that we see on the console or computer. Games do not usually rename waters from Persian Gulf to the Saudi Straight, or perhaps we will name it the Sea of Dammam. When we see that the US is changing the stage at which they can operate, mind games is all that they are left with. They failed to political game, they bungled the economic game, they are blocking their ability to play War Games so what is left? Yup, you got it mind games is all they have left.

So see this stage we need to visit USA Today (at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/07/12/house-passes-bill-bar-trump-from-launching-iran-strike-and-end-us-support-saudi-arabia-war-in-yemen/1708612001/) where we are told ‘House approves measure to block Trump from launching military strike against Iran‘, so not only are politicians weak weasels they have now blocked their own commander in chief to do the responsible thing against Iran, it has dwindled to this. OK, let’s face it war is not a good thing, there needs to be a really good reason to start one, as wars are expensive and the house does seemingly need approval to spend large amounts of cash that is not directed at Wall Street.

And in fairness the text: “bar the Trump administration from using any federal funds for military force “in or against” the Islamic Republic, unless the president receives explicit congressional approval for a strike. It would not bar the president from responding to an attack on the U.S.“, yet it is also interesting that this is the cowardly act (as I personally see it) to cross swords with expectation and a lack of determination. Is it not funny that I quoted in ‘Be the bitch‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/07/07/be-the-bitch/) on July 7th: “when we see: “that nuclear agreement prevented war“, it never stopped it, it merely delayed it so that Iran could get ready and that part has been shown in several ways over the last three years alone, now that the pressure is growing we need to consider that no one wants a war, but Iran made it impossible to avoid and as they make tally of all who are willing to become the bitch by not acting, that is how we might lose this upcoming war, not merely by inaction of them, but the mere fact that these politicians are willing to grab their ankles and let happen what would happen next. They will call it: “We have reached an immediate cease fire so that a diplomatic agreement can be drawn” that will be the second sign that the war was won by Iran“, we now see this very scenario unfold. It is seen with the additional text: “It would not bar the president from responding to an attack on the U.S.” We all know that a direct attack on America is most unlikely, but this also means that America will only come to the aid of the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia AFTER Congress approves it and there is absolutely no guarantee that Wall Street will give approval at that point.

It is no longer a mere expectation, less than 12 hours ago Newsweek got us: ‘Iran launches strikes in Iraq and responds to Israel;s threat as it vows to defend itself against any attack‘, and here we see: “The Revolutionary Guards announced Friday that they conducted strikes against anti-Iranian government insurgents operating along the Iraqi border in the Kurdistan region“, Iran is lashing out, in this particular case to appease their Turkish ally (they always enjoy Kurdish slaughter). When we add the pressure of the Iranian tanker, as well as the threats between Iran and Israel, we see a much larger stage evolving, and the US, just like the stage of the Syrian war was unable to accomplish anything; they merely pulled support from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a nation that they call an ally. The question is that we do not know who states it, who means it and who ignores it. That is the stage that the US Senate, the House of Representatives, the presidential administration and Wall Street are in, like it is an episode of Musical Chairs, and we cannot tell which party takes on which pose, they merely refer to it as: ‘an extremely complex situation‘.

Then we get to the Washington Post, who gives us: ‘Iran’s nuclear program seems to be accelerating. Will Saudi Arabia take a similar path?‘ (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/12/irans-nuclear-weapons-program-seems-be-accelerating-will-saudi-arabia-take-similar-path), here we see the escalation in another way. With the direct headline ‘In a multipolar world, curbing nuclear transfers becomes more difficult‘, we merely see one side. So even as we see: “Riyadh has vowed to match Iran’s nuclear capabilities, including the ability to enrich uranium and acquire nuclear weapons if Tehran gets the bomb. My research, recently published in International Security, explains how Riyadh’s ability to play nuclear suppliers off against one another can increase its chances of securing nuclear technology.” There is no denying this, and that is only when we look at that side. You merely have to look back towards 2004 and remember “Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer (A.Q.) Khan, then famous for his role in developing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, confessed on live television to having illegally proliferated nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea over the course of decades. Today Khan is enjoying a resurrection at home, where he is again touted as the “Mohsin e-Pakistan,” or the savior of Pakistan” to consider that this might already have happened. Pakistan has ties to Saudi Arabia. The fact that this is largely in a stage where we see: “Wouldn’t the United States and other countries interested in stopping proliferation block Riyadh’s access to sensitive nuclear transfers, such as enrichment technology?” We see the wrong question, the stage is that America is no longer a significant super power, it is too broke, it is too much bankrupt. That gave Russia an edge and more important, other players are no longer heeding America’s word, it becomes simple for them when the infighting in America is doing most of the work for them, so seemingly America has become really good at trivialising itself as a world power. In all this (from recent events) America failed twice, it did not act when the Syrian issues were playing, so as the world saw the Ghouta chemical attack unfold on 21st August 2013, the world saw the Obama Administration sit by and do nothing, even as there had been decades of messages that a chemical attack is a red line that was not to be passed, Someone in Syria passed it and nothing was done. Again we see failure now under the Trump administration that when the calls for Yemen were needed, the US pulled away and the media set the stage for this war to continue for at least 3 years more costing the lives of hundreds of thousands. Two direct failures in the last 7 years and when someone is asking others on why the USA is not taken seriously, did you actually expect a serious response?

So when the Washington Post gives us: “As Matthew Fuhrmann explained here in the Monkey Cage, there remains debate over whether peaceful nuclear technology transfers lead to proliferation — but the risk of proliferation is high in the Saudi case“, again the stage is miscommunicated. It is not about the Saudi case, it is about the not stopping Iran case. For over 2 years we have seen and heard spokespeople from the KSA state that they have no interest in nuclear technology as long as Iran does not move forward on where they are. So now that the nuclear pact has collapsed and as Europe and America do not do anything after 2+ violations by Iran, Saudi Arabia does not really have any options left.

In all these events Iran was clearly the powder keg and the two larger players are unwilling to act. As I personally see it, the US has benefit to a lack of stability in the Middle East (outside of Iran) and is now courting Qatar to keep in the game, we see all the threats by Iran and the media is always good to make sure that we all hear the threats made (but little else) and that is now pushing for a very different stage. With the UK sending a second warship into the Sea of Dammam, escalation risks go up, not down.

The third problem is not merely the players that are out and about, when this goes south the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain will have little options left, they will be caught in the middle, all because certain players are unwilling (or disallowed) to make the hard calls. Finally there is the last piece, there is Hezbollah. We see all kinds of statement in the last few hours and they are merely that, mere statements. Yet, when Iran does make a move how will Hezbollah act? The statement that they gave 6 hours ago with ‘Hezbollah can target all of Israel with it’s missiles‘, might be true, but is it Hezbollah or Iran doing the work? The missiles are all Iranian, the knowledge to strike more precise came from IRGC instructors, the (upgraded) hardware is also covered in Iranian fingerprints. So when Hezbollah does make a move, there will be consequences and at that point the US and Europe will have no cause, no call and no right to make some lame humanitarian statement. They left this mess unattended for too long, so whatever Israel decides should be regarded as acceptable.

I still believe that the strikes that come will be 79.5% against Israel, 19.5% against Saudi Arabia and 1% against both. The Houthis are losing more and more options, Hezbollah is nowhere near ready to face two armies and Iran needs to play the game very carefully, because even as the US and Europe are not acting, there is every chance that Israel and Saudi Arabia can make short work of Iran, the Iranian threats that we have seen over the last few hours (the usual) as well as mention of a special weapon give rise that they took a little too much on their for and striking now might be the only way to defuse a nasty situation.

It is time to push back to Iran and if the politicians can’t make it work then we must make it work, so my first action to diffuse the situation is not to strike with weapons (I only have a steak slicer and a cricket bat at home at present), is to make war through mind games. I call for a change on the map; we rename the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Dammam.

It trivialises Persia and therefor Iran, when we take away the old naming mistakes, we get to trivialise Iran to a lager degree, when they cannot counter they will need to push harder or fold the hand. I saw that they were only holding a two and a seven in this poker match and there is not a lot you can do with that, to win you need to get really lucky or bluff like a god and they are unable to do the second.

So I scored an easy victory over Iran with the greatest of ease and without firing a bullet in real life, but we can keep that option for later. So take a look at the city of Dammam, with the Sea of Dammam to the right, or consider my second option below, I did made a mention of video games in the beginning and we can all bluff, we can optionally argue that bluffing is all that Iran has left, but that is a story for another day. In my case of bluff I went up against my cold war adversary the Russians (always a decent opponent to cross, and we can’t have Alexander Bortnikov feeling too relaxed in all this, can we?)

 

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